California joins legal challenge to revised Trump travel ban

16 March, 2017, 00:30 | Author: Courtney Perry
  • California joins legal challenge to revised Trump travel ban

US government attorneys argue that the president's action is consistent with the executive's constitutional authority over foreign affairs and national security.

Ferguson said the revised ban is still unconstitutional and harms residents, universities and businesses, especially tech companies such as Washington state-based Microsoft and Amazon who rely on foreign workers.

U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Greenbelt said he will soon decide whether to halt Trump's order, but did not guarantee a written order by the end of the day. The state requested a hearing in the case on Tuesday. The brief was in response to a suit filed by Hawaii asking for a restraining order against the new travel order, USA Today reported.

The states' amended lawsuit claims the revised order, like the earlier version, unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of religion and denies due process.

But the new ban is just as damaging, according to the tech companies listed in the new court brief. Most served under Democratic presidents, including former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano, ex-national security adviser Susan Rice and ex-National Counterterrorism director Matthew Olsen.

Despite Trumps claim that the revisions would satisfy the courts previous objections, the states lawyers noted that presidential adviser Stephen Miller said February 21 that the new order would have “mostly minor technical differences” but “the same basic policy outcome” as the first order.

Rulings by Robart and a panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco held that the January 27 order was likely to violate the constitutional rights of immigrants and refugees, by excluding them without notice or hearings, and that it raised serious questions of possible religious discrimination. It bars refugees from all countries for 120 days.

It is Robart who will oversee the Washington state hearing on Wednesday and he could once again suspend all or part of the new order.

“Informal statements by the president or his surrogates, ” before or after the election, “that do not directly concern the order are irrelevant, ” the government lawyers said.

The judge told lawyers that he is more interested in constitutional claims and wanted to know who had such standing in the lawsuit. But officials said there is no guarantee that the ban will be lifted after 90 days. Elshikh says the ban prevents his mother-in-law, who lives in Syria, from visiting family in Hawaii. US officials also said Iraq had agreed to implement new measures to keep people “with criminal or terroristic intent from reaching the United States.”.


Other cases challenging the travel ban are also taking place in California, Virginia and Wisconsin. That ruling was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Attorneys from the Washington, D.C., law firm Hawaii has hired will participate by phone.

On Friday, Robart ruled that neither the Justice Department or the states had properly teed up the issues for him, and requested more formal briefings.

The travel ban is scheduled to go into effect Thursday morning, March 16. Justice Department attorneys are also expected to phone in for the hearing. That lawsuit succeeded and federal courts halted the program. They also say it's illegal for Trump to reduce the number of refugees allowed into the United States this year by more than half. He also issued the order halting nationwide implementation of the first ban.

"What we are arguing before the court is that court should stop in its tracks before it even takes effect", said Matt Adams, legal director for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

The revised EO is best understood as another step by the Trump administration in its efforts to achieve this goal.

"The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible". Airbnb, Lyft and 56 other tech companies have together filed an amicus brief against the new order, seeking a temporary stay on it. Numerous same companies joined a similar brief in February in opposition to the first version of Trump's ban.

Finally, a lawsuit was filed by a private attorney on behalf of the "people of California", according to court documents last week.

The case in Hawaii was underway on Wednesday afternoon. The blocked order included an indefinite Syrian refugee travel ban and its blacklist of barred countries included Iraq.

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